Warren Willey

Warren Willey

Recently, and at a most appropriate time, another study published in the journal eLife has given explanation as to why your current New Year’s Resolution diet will not work.

Cutting calories (dieting) and increasing caloric expenditure (exercise) cause your brain to activate neurons that will not allow you to utilize fat or lose weight.

Evolutionarily, when our ancestors living in what we now call Pocatello were hard pressed to find food, their brains stopped energy expenditure (using energy to move, be active, play, etc.) to slow them down to keep them alive.

If this brain activity did not occur in times of food scarcity (i.e. dieting), our distant relatives would have died, and you would not be reading this article.

Regulation of food intake, biologically, has always been associated with food availability. With the convenience store right around the corner, these neurons have rarely, if ever, been activated — until you try to diet.

Start dieting for your New Year’s Resolution and activate these hormones.

Activate these hormones, and your body does not allow you to lose weight. There may be a short-term modification in weight — mostly water shifts — but when you step back and look at a time line, dieting fails almost everyone.

These neurons eventually win and put your weight back on for what they perceive as the next food shortage.

It is best to make small changes over time, allowing these neurons to be complacent and adapt with you. As the old saying goes and certainly applicable to New Years Resolution dieting, “Don’t mess with Mother Nature.”

Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at http://drwilley.com.